Selasa, 24 Januari 2017

RIAU PROVINCE VOWS TO BE HAZE-FREE THIS YEAR

by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Jan 24 (Antara) - Riau Governor Arsyadjuliandi Rachman, whose province in recent years had been one of the main haze contributors due to forest and land fires in Sumatra, vowed on Monday to make his province smog-free this year.
         To support his commitment to protect his province from haze, the governor called on all sides and the public around the forest areas to help support his efforts to prevent forests and land from fires.
         "Thank God, last year, the haze was significantly reduced compared to the previous years during the dry season because of the efforts of all sides in carrying out prevention measures," Rachman said in a press statement made available to Antara in Pekanbaru, Riau Province, on Monday.
         This year, the governor is committed to take preventive measures by declaring a forest-and-land fire emergency alert status.
         Earlier in the day, the governors of Riau and other provinces were invited to attend a national coordination meeting on forest fire prevention in Jakarta. In the meeting, President Jokowi reminded ministers and regional authorities to remain vigilant against forest fires, starting from early this year.

Kamis, 19 Januari 2017

DEVELOPMENT FOCUSED ON BORDER AREAS TO PROMOTE EQUITABLE GROWTH

by Andi Abdussalam
           Jakarta, Jan 20 (Antara) - Without a more focused development program, the country's marginalized regions, border areas, and outlying regions will face difficulties in the form of various global challenges and stiff competition.
         The central government and regional administrations had, so far, not given serious attention to the development of marginalized areas, border zones, and outlying regions. Hence, as a result, these areas are left powerless in the face of myriad challenges and global competition. The development policy has, so far, accorded priority to Java Island and was oriented merely to the urban people.
         According to researcher Pande Made Kutanegara of the Population and Policy Study Center of Yograkarta's Gajah Mada University, there was negligence on the government's part, as its development programs were only oriented towards urban areas.
         These regions need serious attention in terms of infrastructure facilities, human resources, and accessibility to various information both from the central government and the world.
         Moreover, the local people in these regions harbor high spirits. Their regions have relatively good natural resources and economic potentials.
         "Local people in the region still face difficulties in obtaining the latest information on the country, let alone about the world," Kutanegara remarked on Thursday (Jan 12).

Rabu, 18 Januari 2017

WHEN WILL MINERAL ORE EXPORTS BE TOTALLY BANNED?

 by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Jan 19 (Antara) - Indonesia has, for years, borne witness to the disadvantageous exploitation of its rich mineral resources, losing added values as mining companies simply tapped them and exported mineral ores in raw material form.
         Virtually, the government had contemplated on stopping the export of raw minerals about a decade ago, but it could not do it all at once, as mining companies need time to build smelters to process and extract minerals before exporting it.
         Hence, the government gave mining companies a deadline until January 2014 to prepare smelters after which raw mineral exports would be banned. However, by January 2014, the government again pushed back the export ban to January 2017.
         This time around, mining companies are yet not ready with their smelters. It seems the government has once again relaxed the country's mineral ore exports as it had done in January 2014.
         Through the newly introduced Government Regulation (PP) No. 1 of 2017, mining companies were urged to change their contract of work status to a special mining license (IUPK) to allow them to export raw minerals.
         Moreover, the government is in the process of issuing a regulation on the exit tax rate for the exportation of raw minerals. These two steps, the IUPK and plan to issue a regulation on export tax, indicated the government's decision to grant more time for the export of raw minerals.

Sabtu, 14 Januari 2017

CPO EXPORT DROPS BUT PRICE ON THE RISE

 By Andi Abdussalam
           Jakarta, Jan 14 (Antara) - Indonesia's export of crude palm oil (CPO) and its derivatives fell by nearly 2 percent to 25.7 million tons in 2016 from 26.2 million tons in 2015.
          Despite export decline, the price of crude palm oil (CPO) is on the rise, reflecting a good trend, and has reached Rp9.140 per kilogram (kg), as recorded by the Joint Marketing Office (KPB) of PT Pekebunan Nusantara on January 9.
          "The CPO business was now thriving well because apart from the improving price, the demand for this commodity is also increasing," Chairman of the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (Gapki) for North Sumatra, Setia Dharma Sebayang, said in Medan on Saturday.
          In Rotterdam, the CPO's price was US$180 per metric ton. He said the CPO's price was improving on account of many factors, such as an improvement in the global economy.
          The price of and demand for CPO is predicted to remain positive, he added.
         "While the price of CPO and its demand are improving in North Sumatra, North Sumatra's foreign exchange reserves are also expected to increase," Sebayang noted.

GOVERNMENT THREATENS TO REVOKE PERMITS OF MINING COMPANIES

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Jan 14 (Antara) - Mining companies have, so far, benefited from exploiting and exporting Indonesia's mineral ores without processing it at home, thereby causing losses to the nation.
         Hence, in 2009, the government had taken a decision to ban the export of raw minerals and made it mandatory for mining companies to build smelters. It decided to ban the export of unprocessed mineral ores as of January 2014 in a bid to encourage miners to process ore domestically.
         However, after protest from the industry, the implementation of the ban was pushed back to January 11, 2017, to give an opportunity to mining companies to build smelters.
         The government has currently issued an ultimatum to miners who have yet to build smelters. Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Minister Ignasius Jonan affirmed that he will revoke the concentrate export permits of companies that delayed the construction of their smelters.
         "They have to build smelters if they want to export concentrates. They have to at least promise to build the smelters in five years, with a stamped statement, or else I will revoke their permits," Jonan stated at the ESDM ministry building in Jakarta on Thursday (January 12).

Jumat, 13 Januari 2017

RI NEEDS TECHNOLOGY TO INCREASE SALT PRODUCTION

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Jan 13 (Antara) - Indonesia has not been able to meet its need for salt although it has a vast stretch of coastal areas conducive to salt production.
         To meet its needs for both consumer salt and industrial salt, the country is forced to import the commodity. However, salt farmers complain about the imports because domestic production cannot compete against imported commodity, and is negatively impacted. 
    Data with the state-owned salt company, PT Garam, showed that the national need for salt has reached 4.04 million tons per annum. It consisted of 1.3 million tons of consumer salt and 2.74 million tons of industrial salt.

         Of the salt imported for industry, 2.14 million tons was for chemical industry (ACP), 1,000 tons for pharmacies and 40,000 tons for oil mining.
         Last year, domestic salt production of just 144,009 tons accounted for a meagre four percent of its 3 million tons target.
         In order to boost domestic production, Indonesia needs to use advanced technology. Maritime and fisheries observer Abdul Halim said the Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) and the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) need to be involved in efforts to increase salt production.

GOVERNMENT SHOULD ANTICIPATE DROP IN CHILI PRICES AFTER HIKE

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Jan 13 (Antara) - The government needs to anticipate the possibility of a "free fall" in the price of chili after the perishable commodity witnessed a spike in cost in various parts of the country in recent weeks.
         The increase in the prices of chili, ranging from the normal rate of about Rp50,000 per kilogram (kg) to some Rp150,000-Rp200,000 per kg, triggered an outcry among consumers.
         Moreover, prices, which were on the rise in at least 76 cities, contributed 0.47 percent to the country's inflation rate, which stood at 3.02 percent.
         In the face of this condition, Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman has encouraged people and housewives across the country to promote the movement of growing chilies at home.
         The minister's call encouraged several others, including the military circle in Surabaya, East Java, to echo the benefits of growing chili.
         "We encourage the people to plant chili on their idle land or in their house yards," Surabaya's Rungkut Sub-district Military Command Chief Maj Supriyo Triwahono noted in Surabaya on Wednesday (January 11).